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You might like to illustrate a good secret to start this lesson by saying throughout the day “I’ve got a secret surprise for you all later…” and then starting the session with special reward stickers/extra golden time etc. Ask the children, “Was that a good secret?”
Ask the children:
• What a secret is, and if they’ve ever kept a secret
• For examples that they can share with the class. Most likely answers will involve keeping gifts a surprise etc.
• How they felt about keeping the secret, was it easy/difficult etc!
Secrets that lead to surprises can be really fun and exciting (E.g. a surprise party). They can be difficult to keep because you’re so excited for the person to find out!
Explain that some secrets are good and safe to keep, and some secrets are bad and unsafe to keep.
Deliver and discuss the following key points:
Any secret that has a specific point in time (nearly always the near future) when it will be revealed. Good secrets are ALWAYS temporary.
(E.g. Dad buys Mum some flowers and says “Don’t tell Mum! It’s our secret. I want her to be surprised when she walks into the kitchen and sees them!” When she walks into the kitchen and sees them, the secret is revealed.)
Any secret that you are expected to keep for a long time or forever. Nearly all bad secrets keep something hidden that is bad.
(E.g. A boy keeps pushing your sister on the bus. He says never to tell anyone or else he will really hurt her.)
Golden Rule: Never keep a secret that could be harmful to yourself or others
Through the next sequence of slides, children must discuss and then decide why a secret is a good or a bad secret. Emoji faces could be used here to encourage participation:
• The teacher asked Jesse and his friends to stay in for break to help decorate the classroom for a surprise party in the afternoon. The teacher asks them to keep the surprise a secret until the party starts
• Martha was playing football in the street and saw a neighbour bump another neighbour’s car. He got out of his car and gave her a £10 note and says, “It is our little secret. Never tell anyone.”
• Harris’ favourite Uncle, Dad’s brother is coming to visit but his Mum says, “Don’t tell Dad, so that it is a surprise.”
• Phoebe was playing football with her best friend Callum and saw bruises on his arms and legs. Callum told Phoebe that his Dad gets angry sometimes and hurts him. He asked Phoebe to promise not to tell anyone.
• Ava was round at her friends house, and her friend’s dad asked her if he could take pictures of her. He said he would give her sweets, but only if she promised not to tell her parents.
• Dylan’s aunt was making a special anniversary meal for his parents and asked you to keep it a secret.
Ask children what they should do if someone asks them to keep a bad secret? Always, always tell someone you trust about it.
We return to our character of Super Susie who has been told to keep something a secret. It is a ‘bad secret’ which her friend Connor has told her not to tell anyone.
Click to play film.
Discuss with children:
• What happened to make Susie upset?
• Can they identify the good and bad secrets? How does Susie feel about them?
• At the end Susie says “I’ve haven’t got a birthday present to give to my Mum, so she’ll think I don’t love her.” Do you think that’s true?
• What do you think Susie should do next? (Tell someone she trusts, maybe her Dad if she’s worried about giving away the ‘good’ secret!)
In the second part of the film, Super Susie tells us how she used advice from pupils to resolve her dilemma.
Click to play film.
Ask children to explain what Susie learned. Click to reveal the bullet points to see how they did:
• Some secrets are good secrets, that are exciting to keep
• Others are bad and we should always tell a grown-up about those ones
• Susie’s special people want to know if anything upsets her
• No matter what Susie tells her special people, they will never stop loving her
In small groups, children should sort the secrets into good secrets and bad secrets (Appendix 1).
They should stick the good secrets inside the Susie print out (Appendix 2), as these are safe secrets to keep. They should stick the bad ones outside the Susie print out, as she should tell a grown-up about these unsafe secrets.
Feedback with the group:
• Did they find it easy or hard?
• What did they notice about lots of the bad secrets?
(Pressure put on Susie to keep them. Specify making her feel guilty, pleading with her, threatening, etc.)
Explain that no matter what, if you feel unsafe with a secret, you should always, always tell someone.
There is a difference between a private matter and a bad secret.
Private Matter: Only family and occasionally close friends need to know about private matters – but Mum or Dad always know.
(E.g: A sister in Year 4 sometimes wets the bed – Mum and Dad know, adults in the family know, her doctor knows, and even close friends who babysit know, but your friends do not need to know because it is a private matter.)
Bad Secret: A group of “friends” may know but adults and those in authority are not allowed to know.
(E.g: An adult neighbour stole a bike and is hiding it in the woods and tells you and a small group of friends to keep it a secret. Because no adult or anyone in authority knows, it is a bad secret.)
Lead children in the following reflection, asking them to close their eyes. Click to play reflective music if you wish.
“Have you ever been asked to keep a secret that made you feel funny inside, or unsafe?
What did you do about it?
If you didn’t do anything about it, and it’s still inside making you feel funny and unsafe, who can you tell about it?
Remember who your special people are. Tell them about it today.
Ask God to help you tell the difference between good secrets and bad secrets.
And ask him to help you be brave enough to always tell someone about bad secrets.”